Investigator: Starbucks Employee Steals Customers' Debit Card

By: Kristen Cosby
By: Kristen Cosby

December 15, 2005
It’s a cup of coffee turned costly. This morning Richmond County officers arrested Amanda Frazier, a Starbucks employee, for stealing a customer’s debit card and ringing up hundreds of dollars of purchases. Officers say this happens hundreds of times during the holiday season and many people don’t figure it out until January. News 12 is On Your Side with how to protect yourself from credit card theft.

“I keep it in my purse. I keep my purse on me at all times,” said Elizabeth Greer.

But despite our best efforts, it’s easy to lose track of our credit cards in the Christmas rush.

This weekend at the Starbucks on Washington Road, an espresso turned expensive when Starbucks employee Amanda Frazier didn’t return a customer’s debit card and went on a shopping spree.

“During the hustle and bustle of everybody shopping, the customer forgot the card and the employee kept the card,” said Investigator Mike McDaniel.

This Starbucks case is just one of about 400 credit and debit card thefts Investigator Mike McDaniel believes will happen in Augusta this holiday season.

“We get cases every day, every day,” McDaniel said.

Credit card theft increases during holidays.

“I’m doing for my children. I’m willing to repay it. I just wanted my children to have a good Christmas. That’s 95 percent of the statements that we get from suspects,” McDaniel said.

You could be a victim right now and not even know it. The Richmond County Sheriff’s Office finds out about most credit card thefts when victims get their bank statements in January.

“If it happens, it happens. But you do everything to stop it especially at the holiday’s because it’s so busy,” said Patrick Greer.

So are you doing everything to stop it? Investigators say keep your card close. Also, keep all of your receipts. And, look at the nametag of the employee who helps you. Knowing even a first name make a big difference if police need to investigate.

Mailing Address: P.O. Box 1212 Augusta, GA 30903 Main Telephone: (803) 278-1212 Newsroom: (803) 278-3111 Fax: (803) 442-4561
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